Environmental & Plant Biology Newsletter, Fall 2018

Message from the chair | A year of change

Greetings PBIO alumni, students, faculty, and staff! It is my privilege to now serve as chair of this outstanding department. This fall newsletter highlights some of the great things that our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are doing.

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Fall kicks off with student farm, brewing course

The Food Studies theme and the Environmental & Plant Biology Department are excited to announce the official name change of the former Plant Biology Research Gardens to the OHIO Student Farm.

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Alumni news
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Notable Alumni | Carolee Bull 'still close to my undergraduate friends'

Arts & Sciences Notable Alumna Carolee Bull arrived in Athens in fall 1981 and quickly found family born to different parents. Now she is Professor of Bacterial Systematics & Plant Pathology at Pennsylvania State University.

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Dawn McCarthy puts Ph.D. to work on the Wayne

Dawn McCarthy, PHD '08, is the Partnership and Community Engagement Specialist for the Wayne National Forest — a position that allows her to put her OHIO coursework to use while engaging with and educating the public.

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Seed Minkin enjoys work in environmental and sustainability education

Seed Minkin, BA, CERT ’12, MS ’15, works for Education Outside, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that hosts garden-based science teachers in public elementary schools. Minkin has been building a learning garden on top of asphalt and more.

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David Enterline recalls campus unrest, epic flooding

“The Hocking River flooded. I went to Porter Hall and nobody was there. I thought we needed some security. I camped out in the building for a day. Across the street from Porter Hall, students were jumping out of the dorm windows into the water,” says David Enterline, MS ‘68.

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Eric Spalsbury has career in risk management

Eric W. Spalsbury, BS ’83, is director of risk management for Stanley Steemer. He also worked in global logistics with DHL and Exel Logistics; in chemical manufacturing and distribution with Ashland Chemical; and in nuclear waste management with Battelle Memorial Institute.

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More alumni news
Student news

Abigail Goszka conducts field research from West Virginia to Yellowstone

“I spent time conducting field research this year that took me from the mountains of West Virginia to Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park, studying reproduction of the red maple,” writes graduate student Abigail Goszka.

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Branching out: Flowers and herbs at OHIO student farm

Just off of West State Street, down a windy gravel road, there lies an abundant garden laden with squash, tomatoes and the usual crops one might find at any good farm. But this year, something new has sprung forth.

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Plant Club offers hiking, camaraderie, conservation, professional development

This group of undergraduate students loves plants and natural areas. They organized a fall hike at Zaleski State Forest, joined the annual Winter Hike at Hocking Hills, and led a wildflower hike at Sells Park.

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Wolf wins outstanding graduate student award

Danny Wolf, MS ’18, won the award for outstanding graduate student presentation at the Phycological Society of America’s annual meeting in Vancouver. He also won best student presentation at the Northeast Algal Symposium.

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Szinte awarded Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Scholarship

Amanda Szinte received the Ohio EPA’s $2,500 Environmental Education Scholarship. Szinte is the vice president of the Wildlife Club and is an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Morgan Vis.

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Meyers gives invited talk on space research

Alexander Meyers gave a 30-minute invited talk at the Committee on Space Research. “Low Earth orbit provides a wholly unique opportunity to study plant gravity response at the molecular level,” says the graduate student.
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Student farm tomatoes harvested for Nelsonville Food Cupboard

The Nelsonville Food Cupboard came to the OHIO Student Farm recently to harvest about 400 pounds tomatoes for the Nelsonville Food Cupboard, a food pantry serving all of Athens County.
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Faculty news

Vis named vice president of international phycological society

Dr. Morgan Vis was elected vice president and president-elect of the International Phycological Society. The society promotes the study of algae as well as fostering international cooperation among scientists and phycological societies around the world.
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Department welcomes new visiting faculty member Stefan Little

"Broadly speaking, my research attempts to integrate paleontological and neontological data into a phylogenetic context. I think that an integrative, organismal approach is an essential part of the study of plant evolution,” says Dr. Stefan Little.
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Tomeo, Rosenthal author article on genetic correlations in photosynthesis and photorespiration

Alumnus Dr. Nicholas Tomeo and Dr. David Rosenthal authored an article on "Photorespiration differs among Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes and is correlated with photosynthesis" in the Journal of Experimental Botany.
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Matlack, graduate students present at Ecological Society of America

Dr. Glenn Matlack and two graduate students, Dr. Marion Holmes (’18 Ph.D. in Plant Biology) and Jack Monsted, presented three research papers at the 2018 Ecological Society of America annual meeting.
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Snell, grad student present at Ecological Society of America Conference

Dr. Rebecca Snell and graduate student Sarah Smith presented their research at the 2018 Ecological Society of America. Snell presented a talk on climate change impacts on forests and forest productivity at a regional scale.
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Wyatt Lab presents at ASPB Plant Biology Conference in Montreal

Dr. Sarah Wyatt and graduate students Anne Sternberger and Alexander Meyers were active participants at this year's conference, presenting research posters, giving talks and leading round table discussions.
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Plant cell wall faculty, students present at ASPB meeting

Dr. Ahmed Faik and Dr. Allan Showalter with five graduate students from the Plant Wall Research Group presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Montreal.
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Hua’s NSF CAREER Grant will involve big data, many students

Dr. Zhihua Hua received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Grant for his work on how plant cells remove old or abnormal proteins, with implications for crop breeding and seed production.
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Rosenthal authors article on soybean response to elevated carbon dioxide

Dr. David Rosenthal co-authored an article on "Leaf and canopy scale drivers of genotypic variation in soybean response to elevated carbon dioxide concentration" in Global Change Biology.
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Plant biology, chemistry researchers present at Cell Wall Conference

Ohio University researchers from Environmental & Plant Biology and Chemistry & Biochemistry—Dr. Allan M. Showalter, Dr. Michael Held, and Yadi Zhou—presented at the VIII. Cell Wall Research Conference in Asilomar, Calif.
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Upcoming events

Challenging Dialogues—Events on campus and on A&S TV

In his inaugural address, Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis challenged the university to become a place where dialogue and rigorous, civil debate are institutional hallmarks. See what’s happening in the college, including many events that will be on A&S TV.
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Save the Date | Arts & Sciences Student-Alumni Networking, Jan. 31

Mark your calendars for the college’s third annual Alumni and Student Networking Reception on Jan. 31, 2019. You have valuable experiences to share about career choices, graduate school and internships. Come back to Athens to help fellow Bobcats get a jump on their careers.
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There are many ways to be involved, including networking, one-on-one conversations, resume review, or employer tables. Learn more and RSVP. Or contact Lisa Cohen, director of external relations, at cohenl@ohio.edu.
Career corner

New online certificate designed for professionals using GIS technologies

The Geospatial Information Science: GIS & Cartography Certificate is fully online and is designed for professionals who need to think spatially, interpret maps, and creatively use geospatial technologies, which are fundamental skills expected in a wide variety of careers today. No prior background in GIS is needed for this certificate.
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Online certificate in data analysis for those with no statistics, programming experience

“The ability to understand novel problems, apply good judgment, and make informed decisions has become essential to leadership. Students earning the Certificate in Data Analysis learn to describe, analyze, and visualize real-world data using open-source tools," says Dr. Michael Burton.
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More than 200,000 employers just a Handshake away

Handshake is a career development, networking, and recruiting tool that will expand opportunities for OHIO students and alumni. More than 200,000 employers, including all of the Fortune 500 companies, are using Handshake.
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Can you help students? Want to get involved?

The Bobcat alumni network is incredibly productive in giving OHIO students a great start on successful career paths. If you could benefit from access to Bobcat career services … or if you know of internship opportunities … or if you want to help your department support students, there are many ways to get involved, both in Athens and from afar. If you’re interested in connecting with a department, educational enrichment, networking, or coming to campus, contact Lisa Cohen.
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